Big thanks to Rani and the LEF team for sending me cards and gifts for my birthday. It was so good to get them, I skipped for joy, which caused even more laughter from the locals about the crazy mzungu.
Thank you so much!!!!
A new addition to the hamster family. Jerome loved it. Also - some fresh underpants. Everyone here loves how I say underpants, but are not sure about me wearing them on the outside. I was nicknamed Captain Pants.
Here are my two cards. (sorry you have to turn your head.) Rani's card was hand made and included glittering stars. I have been dropping them all over town. The kids love it. :~) Inessa, note the Fugel badge that hangs in my room - it is art.
This is the hamster (which needs a name Ro?) with the thanksgiving turkey. It was a pumpkin with origami, but it was better than nothing. Kathey, I ate pumpkin pie!!! Nathan - I ate apple pie!!!
I was walking to work at 8am in 30+ degree heat and sweating when I come up to an old guy (about 45 but that is old here) pulling/pushing a cart up a hill. They use these carts to carry all sorts of stuff around town and they compete with bikes, motorbikes, cars, daladala's, buses, trucks, taxis and pedestrians with courage for the limited road space. Nuts.
Anyway, this old guy is pulling the cart up the hill so I decide to throw my backpack into the back of his empty cart and make him carry the thing - I mean he is going my way anyway. Right?
Just kidding, but I did put the backpack in and I helped him push the cart. He turned around, waved and smiled.
We pushed the cart all the way to my work. We got toots from cars and cheers from the school we passed. I said "Asante, ninakwenda mfanya kazi". "Thanks I'm going to work." and he said "Asante sana" thanks very much. "Karibu".
Bree, Kevin and I went to Moshi on Thursday and Friday and had two days filled with adventure. Big thanks to Susana and Klaus for spoiling me (an actual shower with hot water!!!!), for the crew at Kuwikkuki HIV Centre for giving us an unforgettable time (nursing a young girl who was having a seisure and trying to inject valium into her arm was just the start), and for Moshi for just being a safi, nzuri place.
Susana, who studied with Nath in Australia, at Coffee House Cafe.
Elizabeth, the poor girl who has some brain damage causing regular seisures. She was smiling by this stage, but wouldn't go to the hospital because of how she would be treated.
Kevin, Bree and I with the Kuwakkuki team. They sing this cool song that goes "Things are getting better, things are getting better.... Mambo sawa sawa, mambo sawa sawa." (Cool, ok, ok). Thanks guys.
Kevin, Jess and I decided to have a day of adventure in Arusha national park. You can pay $70US and have it all laid out for you, or you can wing it. We decided to wing it. We had the highs and the lows. Highlights were the walking with giraffes, standing under the waterfall, black and white colobus monkeys jumping through the trees above our heads and the complete arsehole who gave us a lift back to Usa River. Thanks to Kevin and Jess for the adventure - I think it was worth it.
The twiga from 20 metres. This was amazing.
This is us after walking behind the waterfall. It was fun, but the chaffing and chill afterwards was the price for joy.
This is us sitting on a small hill overlooking the valley. Beautiful view.
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a graduation of an adult english class which is taught by fellow Mondo volunteers. It was amazing and I even made a speech as surprise guest of honour number 2.
Thanks to Tania, Andy and Scott for inviting me and for all the class for making me feel welcome. The rap song was a highlight.
Tania giving her speech before handing out certificates.
The class and the Tania.
Some of the School managment, some students, Scott, Tania, Andy and me.
This means 30 in Kiswahili. Mzee means old man. Well, I don't feel quite old, but to say you are thirty feels quite different.
But it's a beautiful day and I'm going out to enjoy it. I'm heading to the masai markets to buy myself a gift, then home for a nap for the big night. Tonight I have beers at Via Via on the grassy hill, then dinner at Langanoo the Ethiopian restaurant, then crazy monkey dancing at Colobus Club.
Tomorrow, maybe a swim in the resort pool. 5,000 shillings well spent.
So I got malaria in under three weeks? So what? Who would of doubted that I could over achieve on such a big thing!!
So why am I typing away. Well, I'm actually bored to tears. Anyone who has known me as a patient will know that I'm terrible. I actually came up to give mum and dad a call but had to leave a message. And it is only a net phone anyway, not very good reception.
The malaria isn't bad. 6 cells for every 200 white blood cells. I feel tired and get dizzy easily. Sleeping lots and trying to read. Found the games on my mobile and felt joy. Ate three bowls of mama happys brown porridge. Of, forgot to mention that I also have Africa Belly, which means that porridge looks the same going in as going out..... I hope that has brought some grimaces to peoples faces.
It all should clear up in a couple of days.
Thanks for everyones comments.
Rob - in answer to your question, Africa is pretty much the same as Oz, just with different climate, people, food, language, currency, culture and history. But they have beer and love it dearly. And so do I on a hot afternoon (everyday).
The rains started three days ago. Which means that it can be boiling hot when you leave in the morning and then absolutely bucketing down for an hour in the afternoon. I thought the dirt streets were fine until they become mud pools. All my clothes are muddy and dirty, but no I can't get worse so what is the worry.
Good news is that pineapples are in season and taste wonderful.
My work is pretty average right now. The manager is driving me crazy and I had an argument when he tried to tell me 6 good things Bush has done for the world. "If you have 2 chickens and a chair, you don't have to worry, but if you have a TV and a washing machine, you have the right to defend yourself..." By which he obviously meant you can go out and shoot others who might one day rob you?? Oh well, I think I'm going to be able to focus on the AIDS/HIV project next week which will get me away from the office.
Plus, I had my head shaved the other day. Sorry Kathey, but I had to go to a local guy. First time I've paid for a hair cut in 3 years. And I had to haggle! It cost me 500 shillings, or about 80c. He cleaned everything for me and they said "Style?" I said "Hapana Style" (No Style) "All off". So off it came. Ahhhh...
Well, I'm starting to feel a bit light headed, so I'm going to head off and get some more sleep. 18 hours just isn't enough these days!